You Are What You Eat: Chiropractic and Vitamins Part 3 (Omega-3 & Probiotics)

We’ve reached the final instalment of our series on nutrition in chiropractic! Today, we’ll be talking about omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.

Recall this from the first article:

Physical stress, biochemical stress and emotional stress affect our health and well-being. Chiropractic adjustments improve and restore spinal health, enabling the body to cope with these stresses more effectively. However, minimising biochemical stress through healthy eating is equally important and highly complementary!

Omega-3 and probiotics boost musculoskeletal health as they promote muscle repair, recovery and strengthen the bones. But what are they exactly?

All about omega-3: omega-3 benefits and effects

Omega-3 is actually a type of unsaturated fat known as a polyunsaturated fat! 

As the human body cannot produce polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 intake has to come from our diets. It’s typically found in seafood and plant-based foods such as salmon, flaxseed, canola oil and chia seeds.

There are three types of omega-3:

  • DHA, which is the most important form of omega-3—it’s the nutrient that helps build the brain, the retina of your eyes and many other crucial organs. It’s mostly found in grass-fed dairy products and fish oil.
  • ALA, which is used as energy in your body and found in plant-based foods like chia seeds and canola oil.
  • EPA, which has the same origins as DHA. Some EPA can be converted into DHA; EPA omega-3 is known for its ability to fight anxiety and depression!
Omega-3-rich foods include salmon, avocados, chia seeds, flaxseed and other legumes.

Omega-3 benefits are as follows:

  • Help with effective repair and transmission of nerve impulses.
  • Improve bone and joint health by boosting amount of calcium in bones
  • Normalises inflammatory markers
  • Fight depression and anxiety
  • Promote brain health during pregnancy and early life
  • Decrease age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduce premature aging of the skin and balance the proportion of oil and water of your skin.

Importantly, omega-3 helps to fight rheumatoid arthritis: EPA and DHA, found in fish oil supplements, reduce bone stiffness and decrease joint pain!

An important source of omega-3 are fish oil supplements.

What are probiotics good for?

Probiotics are actual, living microorganisms found in many fermented foods, especially in yoghurt!

These living organisms include healthy bacteria called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and usually work to boost gut health: they aid with digestion, replenish good bacteria lost in digestion and maintain a healthy gut biome. Lactobacillushas been shown to ease diarrhoea and help lactose-intolerant people digest lactose better, while Bifidobacterium eases irritable bowel syndrome.

Probiotics refer to healthy bacteria that help maintain gut health.

Most importantly, by maintaining gut health, probiotics boost immunity. 90% of immunity comes from the gut and healthy bacteria is essential to ensure uptake of essential nutrients, which strengthen muscles and bones. Consuming food rich in probiotics thus also helps to boost musculoskeletal health indirectly!

That being said: most of the yoghurts that we see in the market contain high sugar levels that encourage growth of harmful gut bacteria. Probiotics from plant based cultures from raw or fermented food and dairy free commercial cultureshave more long term benefits. Some replacement foods include certain types of soy, miso and probiotic supplements!

Plant-based foods like kimchi and vegan alternatives are also good replacements for dairy-based foods in providing probiotics!

Conclusion

Chiropractic should always be complemented by good nutrition to yield the best results for your muscles and bones!

We hope that this series on nutrition in chiropractic has helped you better understand how consuming the right foods has chain and ripple effects. Besides direct benefits, the nutritional effects of the foods covered boost immune responses, transmitting nerve signals that stimulate recovery and improve the quality of musculoskeletal health.

If you ever find yourself in need of nutritional advice for your chiropractic issues, or have any general questions, give us a call at 62084669 or drop us an email wecare@mychirocare.sg!